Lamont and Dude Contemplate our Chaotic World

“Those were the days.”

“What days?”

“When things made sense.”

“Lamont, are you having some kind of nostalgia fit again? Wishing for the golden  moment of being an old oak tree?”

“I guess.”

“What’s wrong, buddy?”

“Nothing, really. It just seems everything has gotten more chaotic, not less. You’d think humans would’ve figured this all out by now.”

“Well, we haven’t. I get what you mean, though. Seems like one huge tug-o-war between this perspective and that perspective and social media and generations. That’s what drives me out there.”

“Where, Dude?”

“Mother Ocean.”

Mother Ocean?”

“Sure. Our original home. I get up before dawn, get into the wetsuit, grab my board, cross the cold sand, the sun peeks over the horizon, I swim out, I get to the breaking point, I turn and there it is, our glorious Father Sun, calling out that it’s another beautiful day here on Earth. I watch the swells, I wait, and when the right one comes, I take my opportunity and hope for a good ride. That’s about all there is, Lamont. There’s no chaos there.”

“You actually have a point in all that smarmy, New Age, surfer stuff Dude. Nature makes sense even when it seems chaotic, but it has hard rules. You could be eaten by a shark, thrown to the bottom by a wave, dragged off in a rip-tide. Mother Ocean my ass.”

“I know all that. You pay attention when you’re out there, but that doesn’t mean you’re safe. You want to be safe, you don’t go out. It’s either worth it to you or it isn’t.”

“I read something yesterday that about — well, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.”


“An article in National Geographic, I think it was National GeographicHave you noticed these days, Dude, how journalists are all about telling long-winded tedious stories before they get to the point?”

“I’ve noticed that. There’s a reason for it.”


“Stories interest people.”

“They don’t interest me.”

“That’s because you’re a billion year-old curmudgeon, Lamont. So what was this article?”

“Same position — that nature is somewhere out there and we’re, I don’t know where we are, humans are in here, I guess, the obvious.”

“They probably mean inside buildings.”

“Yeah, well, they make the point that humans spend more time inside than out.”

“Seriously, Lamont? Why make that point? That’s why we invented buildings and moved into caves. It’s uncomfortable out there a lot of the time.”

“Yeah. Personally, I want fewer people outside. I want them to stay inside, where they feel safe and warm and distracted by their machines, so I can take a nice, long walk with my dogs beside the river with no interference from people.”

“Is that all the article says?”

“No. The best part is researchers have found that being in nature reduces stress. C’mon, Dude. You see why that’s funny.”


“Exactly. Remember when we were — I don’t know what you were, Dude. Were you there? There was a huge fire, it came roaring up the west face of the mountains, flames twenty, thirty feet high, jumping from tree top to tree top.”

“That’s happened more than once, Lamont.”

“True. Thank goodness I’d dug a deep burrow that year.”

“You made it through?”

“My cubs and I all made it through, but there wasn’t much to eat when it was over. We made it through the fire, but the cubs ended up starving to death when winter came.”

“That’s Nature for you. It’s like when I was a salmon. Great life being a salmon, cold, clear water, ocean and stream, pretty much paradise until spawning season and then? Well, you know, you’re just an item in the bear cafeteria. I was happy, laid those eggs, looked forward to more leaping and upstream swimming and BAM! Caught by a grizzly. What’cha gonna’ do when they come for you, right, Lamont?”

“Why do you have to keep bringing that up? It couldn’t have been THAT good being a fish, besides, you were on the way out anyway. I did you a kindness.”

“I keep forgetting that was you. OH well.”

“The irony of that article is it quotes a bunch of scientists who’ve done research in laboratories.”

“They ought to talk to us.”

“I don’t think they’d get the answers they’re looking for. You wanna’ take a hike?”

“You mad at me?”

“No, I mean a walk. It’s a beautiful day.”

“A hike in nature?”

“I thought I’d head up to the mountains for a few hours.”

“You got bear spray?”

“Right here.”

“Great! Let me fill my water bottle and we’re out of here.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a couple of years ago. They remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

6 thoughts on “Lamont and Dude Contemplate our Chaotic World

  1. That is one of the best, I am still laughing. If we every meet, bring those two guys as well, I would love to meet them, but perhaps as a something cuddly and calm.

  2. Lamont and Dude have it sorted!
    Often think how bizarre it is that so many research dollars go into proving/disproving stuff commonsense/our ancestors could have told us for free, and probably did. Also using facts to prove theory A without acknowledging that theory A has components giving rise to an equally valid theory B.

    • It’s absurd how we are. How many moms have very reasonably dealt with a cranky kid by saying, “Go outside and play for 30 minutes! Go! Right now!” and then let the totally transformed kid in a hour and a half later. I used to make my two (rather sedentary TV focused) step-sons chase each other around the park telling them if they caught the other it would be OK to kill him and then the whole thing turned in to a hilarious, laugh-filled game of tag.

  3. I am very relaxed in my recliner. Indoors. When I’m outside, I almost always have a camera with me and I don’t know if that is good , bad, neither, or both. Or if it makes a difference. I like natural environments, but I also like comfortable furniture and central heat. I don’t want to be drowned in the ocean or eaten by alligators, but I do like it being outside. That’s why I live here and not in a city. Coffee on the deck with the trees is better than any drug in my pharmacy.

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